The ongoing migration of organisations and individuals to a web enabled society is relentless and inevitable.The wider Digital economy in Ireland is currently (2014) estimated to be worth €12.9BN per annum with projections that it will, grow to over €20BN by 2020. The opportunities that this offers Irish SME’s are truly mind blowing but to exploit the opportunity requires planning,structure and foresight.
Todays changing customer behaviour has already dramatically altered the way businesses need to approach Digital strategy and measurement.What are the major trends that are driving change for every business – both big and small alike.
- The internet has made the worlds information and media available to everyone at the click of a button.
- Mobile devices have helped connected nearly everyone around the world 24 hours a day,7 days a week.
- Cloud computing has provided us with infinite computing power and its cheap.
Because of the first two trends the consumer journey is forever changed.People are empowered with more information than ever before i.e product reviews,recommendations from friends or experts,store inventory and competitive pricing.all of these are now instantly available at the click of a button.
At the same time cloud computing has empowered more organisations to analyse more business data than ever before.
Digital marketing planning is no different to any other marketing plan, in fact it’s increasingly strange to have separate plans for ‘digital’ and ‘offline’ since that’s not how your customers perceive your business. However, we’re often required to separate plans for “digital” only based on the way resources and reporting is structured and to help the transition to digital –before it becomes “business as usual”.
There are a number of different approaches to developing a Digital strategy but the core components of all plans are as follows:
- Identifying the opportunities and/or challenges in a business where online assets can provide a solution.
- Identifying the unmet needs and goals of the customers that most closely align with those key business opportunities and/or challenges.
- Developing a vision around how the online assets will full fill those business and customer needs, goals, opportunities and challenges.
- Prioritising a set of online initiatives/tactics which can deliver on this vision
In relation to the SOSTAC strategy method the elements of the plan are as follows:
- S stands for Situation Analysis – which means where are we now?
- O stands for Objectives which means where do we want to go?
- S stands for Strategy which summarises how we are going to get there.
- T stands for Tactics which are the details of strategy.
- A is for Action or implementation – putting the plan to work.
- C is for Control which means measurement, monitoring, reviewing, updating and modifying.
In addition to the above elements there are a number of other “variables “ which must be considered.These are essentially resources that must be factored into the planning process to ensure that the organisation has the ability to deliver on the Strategy objectives and targets.
In all cases these resource issues revolve around :
- Money ie Do we have the financial resources to support the plan?
- People i.e Have we the skills available to deliver on the tactics/strategies required?
- Time i.e Can we achieve our objectives within a realistic time frame?
The move from traditional outbound marketing to web enabled inbound marketingis causing massive disruption across many industries. However the market opportunity has never been greater and organisations that embrace the opportunities of Digital/Inbound marketing are outperforming their peers across all industry sectors.